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Federal (USV)


Basil Laban DeShetler

(c. 1839 - 1862)

Home State: Michigan

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 7th Michigan Infantry

Before Antietam

From Monroe County, he enlisted in Company D of the Seventh Michigan Infantry at age 32, probably in September 1861.

On the Campaign

He was mortally wounded in action on 17 September 1862 at Antietam.

While still on the field, wounded, he wrote in his diary:

17 Sept: Arise at 2AM in [xx] at sunrise in battle 7 AM at which I am wounded. This is written on the spot where in [I?] lay. May God bless me + forgive all my sins, through Jesus Christ. B. L. DeShetler.
He seemed to know that he was mortally wounded. And he still pulled out his diary to make one last, spare, entry, and then signed his name - the only time in the diary he did that.

He died on 9 October 1862.

References & notes

Basic information from the Antietam Cemetery History1, which has his name as Deshleter. Interpretation and transcription above are by GGGGrandson Jeff Makholm, from the page for 17 September 1862 in DeShetler's diary. He used his 1861 diary into 1862, noting when he did so. Jeff also kindly provided two photographs of Private DeShetler (one, two), the first of which is the source of the picture at the top of this page.


c. 1839


10/09/1862; burial in Antietam National Cemetery, Sharpsburg, MD


1   Antietam National Cemetery, Board of Trustees, History of Antietam National Cemetery, Baltimore: John W. Woods, Steam Printer, 1869  [AotW citation 3426]